Description

Months ago, I decided to build a PC for my wife who kept complining about how our HP laptop was crap at running her games. We could barely get Skyrim to function on the thing and let's not talk about the loading times for The Sims. Oh, and let's also not mention how it could barely run Battlefield 3 either; or The Witcher. Frankly, the damn thing wasn't worth the money we paid for it.

Thus, after months of research and going back and forth on parts, etc, I was finally brave enough to start of on this venture.

In the end, selecting the parts turned out to be the easy part. We had a $1000 Canadian budget (oops, went a little over but YOLO) and I reckon I did fairly well with the components.

CPU- Sure, I'd have loved to have gotten an i5 or hell, an i7 but well, when you're saving for a down payment on a house and paying off student loans, you've just got to be a little realistic. The AMD FX-6300 was an excellent choice for our budget and since it has steller reviews on here and other sites, it was a no-brainer. So far, it's been a little trooper and I've got no complaints.

CPU Cooler - As you can see, I decided to stick with the stock cooler for the moment. I am not intending to OC anytime soon and thus, getting an aftermarket cooler seemed like a waste of money. I may get one eventually but it's not useful at this current moment.

Motherboard - Handling the motherboard was my greatest fear but in the end, I think I did a good job at it. The board itself has everything I need. The 3.0 header was especially great since the case had a front panel 3.0.

RAM- I was intially going to go with the G-Skill Ripjaw X-Series 1600 4x2 but a lovely member on here recommanded that I go with a 1866 since the price difference was barely anything.

Storage - This was something I went back and forth about. As much as having an SSD would have been awesome, I finally decided to forgo it for the time being. Frankly, a 3 second boot up is a luxury I can live without. And hey, I came from a dying laptop. Anything would be faster than that POS.

GPU - What an adventure this caused me. The amount was indecision was incredible. At first I was going to go with a Evga 750 Ti FTW and then Amazon went and had a sale on the R9 290 (it dropped to $231 including tax) and so I jumped on that. Unfortunately, they ran out of stock and did not have a date for when it would become available. I waited two weeks (all my other parts were already purchased and sitting on my desk feeling unappreciated) and still, there was no signs of life from Amazon. On Tuesday, the 7th of April, I decided that enough was enough. With a heavy heart, I canceled my order and seeing as the R9 270 was a good price, ordered that instead. Now here's the funny/ironic/wtf moment. Ten minutes after receiving the shipping confirmation of the 270, Amazon finally got stock of the 290. I almost cried. In any case, the 270 is gonna do everything I want it to do and I'm happy about that. (though I am still mourning the loss of the 290).

Case - Simply put, the wife saw it and loved it and I had no say in the matter. It's a good case though so I'm not complaining. I like the blue features on the front and it feels quite sturdy for the price. One thing I have to bring up was how the fans that were included felt flimsy (at least compared to the Cooler Master one I purchased). I'm doing without them for today but I'm going to get two more Cooler Master fans tomorrow and install those in.

PSU - Great price, and about 150W over what I needed. I was initially going for a Corsiar but like the RAM, a member on here convinced me that EVGA was the way to go.

Optical Drive - Nothing special. Just needed it for Windows and The Sims (the wife has all The Sims 3 expensions - which is gonna take a all day to install).

OS - The laptop ran Win8 and ugh. That's all I'm gonna say. Ugh. I may or may not have hugged the monitor when it booted up Win7.

Fan - Price was good. Colour was even bettter. Getting two more of these tomorrow (as stated above).

Monitor - I'd have been happy with a 22-24 inch but the wife just had to have a 27. Once again, I had no say in the matter. It works great though so I'll give her that.

SO. Overall, I am happy with all the parts. Putting them together was harder than expected. However, being a noob, I am satisfied. Hell, it booted up on my first attempt so hey, well those months of reseach sure paid off. Cable management is iffy though. There was a couple of cables I just couldn't work with (like it annoying one going across my cpu fan) but I tried my best and I don't think it's completely horrid. I've seen worse on here so I'm not beating myself up too bad for it.

Oh, and the name - for those who are not DC/Comic book nerds like me, Saint Walker is a Blue Lantern. (most) of my parts are blue and soooooo...

Comments, thoughts, (constructive) criticism are most welcome!

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Comments

  • 58 months ago
  • 3 points

I love seeing AMD builds! Always fun to see some red in a sea of blue.

A good and cheap aftermarket cooler which is often recommended is the CM 212 Hyper Evo; only costs around £25 (cheapest I've seen it on the Canadian site is $33). A cheaper option would be the Zalman CNPS5X Performa, only around £13.50 (cheapest on the Canadian site is $15.00 with a $5 rebate). Either option is better than the stock cooler of the 6300, and I would lean towards the 212 personally, but that's up to you and what you're willing to spend.

In future, if you do choose to get an SSD, steer plenty clear of the Kingston V300 Series; they pulled a bait and switch on customers, and use asynchronous NAND, which means that the read/write performance is far worse than advertised. Go for any 120GB minimum SSD that suits your budget, but I particularly recommend Crucial, they are known for reliability.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much for your advice!

I was actually already looking at the 212 Hyper Evo lol. It just didn't fit into the budget atm but it's something I am definitely getting in a month or two.

Crucial, 120GB. Got it. I've made a note about the Kingston V300 and will steer clear.

Thanks once again!

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

not a problem at all! and hey! if you get an aftermarket cooler soon, tell me what the temps are like!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Will do!

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

It looks lovely!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

it looks like your rear fan is set to pull air into the case, normally this would be an exhaust fan. Just something you might want to check with feel of hand.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

oh wow. Funny thing is that I had it the other way at first and then thought "oh wait, shouldn't the air be blowing IN not OUT" and so I changed it. And now I feel like an idiot lol. Thanks for bringing that up! I'll switch it around right now.

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Simple, modest, and still packs a punch. Nice build!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

If you are going to upgrade to an aftermarket cooler, I would recommend the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. It's the best value air cooler out there, and it's only 30 bucks. Also, OC is possible on stock cooler. I have my FX-4300 OC'd to 4.3 GHz on stock cooler, and rarely go over 60 C.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm definitely getting the 212 in a month, at the latest. Thanks!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Good! I will get one soon too.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Shouldn't your cpu fan be plugged in to the designated cpu header on the top of the motherboard, it seems the one you have it plugged into is for extra fans. I personally use this mother board and plugged my rear exhaust fan into that just so cords aren't all over the place.

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Lol. I've been having so many issues with the fans. You'd think something that looks so simple wouldn't cause me so many problems. Thanks for pointing that out though! I've switched it to the right header.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

haha yeah I did my first build with this motherboard andcouldn't figure out where to plug anything in. As for fans, me too. They seem to do what they want and run high Idle. I made the mistake of plugging a top and front fan right into the psu originally before switching them to the mb . It's a learning experience everytime I open my case!